Thursday, March 24, 2011

When your concepts take a life of their own

I always have this problem:  I go into something with one idea in mind, and by the time I'm done, it's morphed into something different. 
I guess it can't be helped.  Evolution of ideas is inevitable, and a positive thing.  But let's look at this from a business standpoint.
F--- yeah scarves!

Let's say you're a knitter.  You have your own shop online, maybe your own website, you've got facebook, twitter, a blog, the works.  Normally you're knitting awesome fingerless gloves, chunky cowls and scarves, some hats occasionally.  Then your friend asks if you can knit some baby booties for her daughter, and all of a sudden, they take off.  Everyone wants baby stuff now, and some of your other work falls by the wayside. 
You never intended to get into children's clothing and accessories, heck, maybe you never really wanted to do it, but now here it is, making you fistfuls of cash. 

Now you have to make some sort of decision.  Do you continue to try to do both children's and adult, knowing that one makes you more money, even though you like the other better?  Or do you switch over and throw yourself full force into the children's world so that you can concentrate all your efforts where you know it will pay off?

This is where I am.  When I decided to start my own Etsy shop, I had something definite in mind.  I wanted to design and sell clothes first and foremost, and I wanted to add in some vintage styled accessories to fill out the shop and complement the clothes. 
But selling clothes online is tough.  Not only are handmade clothes very expensive, but many people do not buy clothes without being able to try them on.  So slowly the accessories started to outweigh clothing, and now I have wedding veils as well as vintage items. 
The veils are now selling more than anything else, and I've been pondering making the switch to a full wedding shop, even though I never planned or particularly wanted to get into the wedding business. 

booties...not as exciting
If this was the only shop I had, I wouldn't think twice about splitting the wedding and non wedding stuff up.  But since I already run a shop with my husband as well as a destash shop, I would feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything. 

The real problem would be rebranding.  If I switched to all wedding, I would want to change the name of my shop.  That means losing all my feedback on Etsy, starting a new facebook, twitter, etc.  It just seems like too much work when I've already gotten this far. 

Comments and thoughts would be appreciated, as this is something I feel I need to give a lot of thought to. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't necessarily think you'd need to re-do everything if you wanted to flip over to weddings. Your name would still fit if you did vintage-style items, for example. As for the vintage stuff you sell, you could work in some pieces that might make a nice gift for the bride or groom, or maybe some items that would work for reception decor. It might take a little tweaking of your product line, but I think it's definitely possible.